Dr. Cesar Morales, Associate Superintendent of Student Services at the Ventura County Office of Education, is one of just 17 educators nationwide to receive the 2019 Excellence in Educational Leadership Award from the University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA).
The Excellence in Educational Leadership Award is an annual recognition for school administrators who have made significant contributions to the improvement of school administrator preparation. Each year, UCEA invites member university faculties to select a distinguished school administrator who has an exemplary record of supporting administrator preparation efforts. UCEA is a consortium of higher education institutions committed to advancing the preparation and practice of educational leaders for the benefit of schools and children.
This is a unique award in that it affords national recognition, but the recipients are selected by individual universities. Dr. Morales was nominated by faculty at Loyola Marymount University (LMU) in Los Angeles, where he received his bachelor’s degree in Spanish literature and master’s in educational leadership. Dr. Morales will be presented with the award at an event at LMU on October 22. He’ll also be a special guest speaker, sharing his unique perspective on how to best respond to current challenges in public education.
“Dr. Morales has a deep passion for students and public education. That includes providing guidance and mentorship to current and aspiring educators,” said Ventura County Superintendent of Schools Stan Mantooth. “It’s truly fitting that he would be honored by the UCEA with the Excellence in Educational Leadership Award, and we are very proud of his accomplishments.”
A complete list of winners of the 2019 Excellence in Educational Leadership Award is available at http://www.ucea.org/2019/08/07/2019-exemplary-educational-leadership-award-recipients.
More about Dr. Morales
Dr. Morales leads VCOE’s Student Services Branch, which is comprised of special education schools, alternative schools, charter school oversight, migrant education, homeless and foster youth programs and programs for teen parents. The Student Services Branch also oversees the Career Education Center, which provides job-related training to thousands of middle and high school students throughout Ventura County. In addition, it coordinates popular countywide academic competitions, including Mock Trial, Academic Decathlon and the Ventura County Science Fair.
Prior to joining VCOE this year, Dr. Morales served as the Superintendent of the Oxnard School District for nearly six years. He led the conversion of the district’s schools to academies with specialized areas of focus. He provided tablets for every student in the district, implemented a digital literacy program and expanded dual-language programs. He also led an effort to replace portable classrooms with permanent buildings, hired counselors for every school and developed the OSD Pride campaign to improve the district’s culture. And during his tenure, he was responsible for the implantation of two school bond measures.
Before becoming Superintendent in Oxnard, Dr. Morales held leadership roles in the Lawndale and Lennox School Districts in Los Angeles County. He also has experience in the classroom as a middle school teacher in the Lennox School District and as a high school teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District.
Dr. Morales received his Doctor of Education degree from UCLA. He serves on a number of local nonprofit boards, including the First 5 Ventura County Commission and Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin’s Education Advisory Committee. He is also a past President of the California Association of Latino Superintendents and Administrators. Dr. Morales is a recent recipient of the El Concilio Latino Leadership Award and was named a “Leader to Learn From” by Education Week magazine in 2017.